Washington Nationals News: Matt Williams pushed right buttons Friday


Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, Federal Baseball’s Jim Meyerriecks discusses how Nationals manager Matt Williams pushed the right buttons in last night’s thrilling, walk-off victory over the Atlanta Braves. As Meyerriecks writes, Williams has received a lot of criticism for his questionable handling of the bullpen in recent weeks, but he made some key decisions last night that ultimately helped lead the Nationals to a huge victory.

One of the most reassuring takeaways from last night’s game was that Williams finally showed a sense of urgency and a willingness to compromise with his bullpen management. He took starter Tanner Roark out of the game in the fifth inning when the right-hander started to struggle (Williams has been known to leave starters in too long), and he brought his closer into the game when the team was down 2-1 in the ninth.

When a team is in a must-win situation seemingly on a nightly basis, the manager needs to show some creativity to find a way to help his team win. Williams has struggled to do that at times this season, but that’s exactly what he did last night and what he needs to continue to do down the stretch.

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Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses some interesting comments made by Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon following last night’s win over the Braves. As Wagner writes in his article, Papelbon wants to see more Nationals fans on their feet during games since the team is in the middle of a pennant race.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Washington Nationals Matt Williams pushed right bullpen buttons Friday

(Jim Meyerriecks, Federal Baseball)

Over the past month, Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams has had to deal with an awful lot of speculation about the temperature of his seat in the dugout. Both Williams and GM Mike Rizzo have expressed some frustration recently with how often Williams moves are being analyzed to death. As one of many who are guilty of picking apart Williams decision making, it’s only fair to turn around and give him credit when he does show some urgency with his bullpen management. He did so on Friday night. Read full article here.

Jonathan Papelbon says Nationals fans should stand up because it’s ‘playoff baseball’

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

Jonathan Papelbon has a colorful personality. He was born in Louisiana, went to high school in Jacksonville, Fla. and played college baseball at Mississippi State. He is known for speaking his mind, a long career as a closer, his Southern drawl, an alter-ego named Cinco Ocho, and his wild intensity on the field.

When he speaks, there is a mix of laughs and seriousness. But he has seen a lot in his 11 years in the majors, from pennant races to multiple playoff appearances to earning a World Series ring. So when Papelbon said something about fans after Friday night’s 5-2 walk-off win, ears perked up.

Asked where the dramatic game ranked among wins, Papelbon said this: “It’s up there. These games from here on out are going to be playoff-type games and playoff-type atmospheres.” Read full article here.

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